Running a successful insurance agency means meeting your clients’ needs. That requires a solid understanding of your target demographic. Ask yourself what they want and need, and accommodate those desires.
Great customer service isn’t enough, however. You have to know what makes agents tick. Many people have business degrees and they know what goes into running a successful business, but they may not know how to run a successful insurance agency. That requires the right soft skills along with hard knowledge. If you can manage both, you will prosper.
Find the Right Mentor
It’s absolutely crucial that you find the right person to show you the ropes of running an agency. The right person will not only show you how to run a successful insurance agency, but how to be successful in all areas of your life. That includes your relationships and how you approach every day.
To find the right person, join business groups like your local chamber of commerce or attend networking events for your industry. You can even solicit the help of another agent whose business is booming. You’ll be surprised by people’s willingness to help if you ask. Nothing says “flattery” like telling someone, “You’re great at your job. Show me how I can do the same.”
Put in the Work Now So You Can Play Later
Your mom probably told you, “Do what you need to do before you do what you want to do.” She likely meant that you should clean your room before you go play with your friends, but the same principle applies to running an insurance agency.
With your agency, put in the work now. You will likely have some long days, but make sure you’re productive at the office, not just busy. You can easily spend 10 hours at the office watching Youtube videos or you can get stuff done. Lay the groundwork so your agency will perform well even when you take a step back and delegate responsibilities.
The insurance industry is a lot of “hurry up and wait.” Make sure your agents are productive in that “down time.” For example, if your agency sells Medicare plans, have your agents study for their AHIP certifications or work on generating leads through marketing while they wait for people to return calls.
Invest in Your Agents and Staff
If you create a positive work environment, your people will want to come back. Make your company culture fun and inviting, and invest in your people. Recognize top performers and reward them. It doesn’t have to be much. Some agencies take some time every week or two to congratulate each other on a job well done. Other companies reward people with $50 gift cards for beating sales goals.
Learning how to run a successful insurance agency also means learning how to hire the right people. Once you have the right people onboard, do everything you can to keep them. That doesn’t mean you have to give your employees free lunch every day like Google might, but you do have to provide essential benefits. Pay your people fairly, give them some paid time off, and show them the respect they deserve. Happy employees make happy customers. Happy customers boost your bottom line.
Listen to Your Customers
Your main focus should be customer satisfaction. Insurance plans change all the time, and you need to stay abreast of those changes. Your customers’ needs can change at any time, too.
Insurance agencies don’t keep their customers by forcing them into buying products that aren’t a good fit. Listen to your customers’ needs. If you have the right products, your customers will stick around. Don’t give them a reason to look elsewhere.
A great way to offer your clients the right products is to have options. The more options you have, the less biased you can be in your approach to insurance sales. If you contract with a FMO, make sure they partner with many insurance carriers so you can present your clients with the right products to suit their needs. Avoid presenting an option just because it’ll provide you with the highest commission.
Be sure to follow up with your clients and talk about their needs. If they’re unhappy with their insurance policies, set up meetings to discuss different options. If you don’t have access to products that meet their needs, refer them to someone who does.
Give Back to Your Community
Generous people prosper. Develop a company culture that values giving back. Let your people have volunteer days to pursue their favorite causes. Your community — which likely includes your customer base — will notice.
If your employees feel a sense of social responsibility and they have a purpose that’s greater than selling insurance, your prospects will respond positively. They’ll feel good about doing business with you and they’ll tell their friends and family. Word of mouth marketing is still huge even in today’s digital world.
Study the Best Marketing Practices
Your job is to communicate the value of your agency, your services, and your products to your customers so they don’t want to go anywhere else.
The internet can be both a blessing and a curse. You can reach more prospects than ever before, however, so can your competition. Your potential customers also have the potential to research insurance products online and they may think that they don’t need you.
You may know that you have to stand out from the crowd with effective marketing, but how do you do that?
One source may tell you that content is king and you have to use the right SEO practices. Another source may tell you to focus on direct mail. And yet another trusted source may tell you to be on social media or email marketing.
While that may seem confusing or like you’re being pulled in different directions, the truth of the matter is that all of them are right. Your marketing efforts should involve a combination of all of those methods. It’s up to you to determine how many resources you allocate to each one.
Let Us Help You Run the Best Agency Possible
At Senior Market Advisors, we are dedicated to helping you run the best agency possible. When you contract with us, you gain access to plans from all of the major life insurance and Medicare health insurance carriers so you can provide your clients with choices. You also get free access to our proprietary CRM that can remind you about client follow-ups. We provide our agency partners with extensive training and marketing support for lead generation. We work hard so you can focus on running your business. Ready to start? eContract with us now.